U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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July 30, 2012
Q.

What sort of license do I need to install a solar system?

A.

The answer depends on the state in which you are planning to install a system. Several states have solar-specific licenses.  You can find information on those requirement.  Other states do not have broad licensing requirements, but state incentive programs may require a special installer license or certification.  The DSIRE Solar Policy Comparison Tables highlight these installer requirements for state solar PV and solar water heating rebate and tax credit programs.   In many states, you have to be (or work with) a licensed electrical contractor or plumbing contractor in order to install solar systems.  There is a voluntary certification that you can get called NABCEP.   To sit for the NABCEP exam, you have to take an accredited course.  The Interstate Renewable Energy Council oversees the accreditation of renewable energy training programs.  

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